Goal 2: Intergovernmental Reform

CityHall

Part two of our series on initial goes to promote progress and sustainability in Central New York focuses on intergovernmental reform. Here we will address the ways government needs to learn to work smarter, better and cheaper for its citizens. The question of intergovernmental reform may be answered if you think about the question: how long are we intending Project X to be around for? If the answer to that question exceeds ten years, then the project is really for our children and grandchildren, so the project should be approached with standards that will help it endure and be competitive for generations to come.

Ten Goals for Intergovernmental Reform

  1. Promote a unified effort by all local governments to ensure that all new projects which have municipal financial support are sustainable and geared toward the long-term growth and development of the community.
  2. All county and city legislative and judicial elections (and to the extent they remain, all town positions) should be non-partisan, i.e. candidates cannot identify with or accept money from local political parties. Our legislators and judges should be beholden to all of their constituents, not just the ones who write them checks in November.
  3. Consolidate municipal courts in towns and cities around Central New York. This will reduce cost and promote ease of administration in our judicial system.
  4. Restructure Onondaga County Legislature and Common Council to reduce number of seats to a number more consistent with other communities our size.
  5. Expect all legislators and politicians to pledge that any Federal stimulus money the area receives for infrastructure projects is to be used first for only necessary projects, and any surplus should be used to help Syracuse become a city of the future, and not a city of the past.
  6. Our community should have an organized and professional apparatus which lobbies consistently in Albany and Washington D.C. to bring more programs and funding to Central New York. We cannot rely on all of our local elected officials to make repeated treks to our capitals alone, we need professional assistance.
  7. Merge municipal police and fire departments into one Public Safety department. This will save on costs and also promote the uniformity of crisis response in our area.
  8. Reduce the overall size of government, retaining only those persons who are qualified to serve based on their merit, not based on their political affiliation.
  9. Eventually institute one (possibly a couple) regional governments throughout Central New York and eliminate the County/City/Town/Village apparatus as we know it in favor of smaller, more effective and efficient regional government.
  10. Strive in all that we do to promote Economic Sustainability (Goal 1) and Neighborhood Revitalization (Goal 3).
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